FIRST ON FOX: Republicans on the House Oversight Committee accuse the Biden administration of abandoning its duty to enforce U.S. immigration law by drastically tightening Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) rules – which coincided with a drop in arrests of illegal immigrants.
“The” Civil Immigration Law Enforcement Guidelines “that you issued on September 30, 2021, which will come into force on November 29, 2021, are an affront to the rule of law and demonstrate the intention of the Biden administration to abuse prosecutions discretion in order to avoid enforcing this country’s immigration laws, âsaid Representatives Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., and James Comer, R-Ky., in the letter to the Secretary of Internal Security, Alejandro Mayorkas.
MAYORKAS ORDERS ICE TO STOP RAIDS ON SITE WITHIN THE LAST LIMITS OF THE APPLICATION OF IMMIGRATION
“This dereliction of duty inside the country is particularly grotesque given the crisis on the southern border,” they say.
The Biden administration issued temporary guidelines in February that limited ICE agents to targeting recent border franchisees, aggravated criminals and national security risks. In September, these orientations were formalized in a note which said: “The fact that an individual is a revocable non-citizen should therefore not in itself be the basis of a coercive action against him.”
“For the first time, our guidelines, in the pursuit of public safety, will require an assessment of the individual and take into account all the facts and circumstances,” Mayorkas said in a statement announcing the note.
NEW DHS DIRECTIVE TELLS ICE OFFICERS THAT IMMIGRATION STATUS SHOULD NOT ONLY BE A BASIS FOR EXPULSION
However, the directives coincided with a decrease in arrests and deportations. The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that there had been around 70,000 administrative arrests of execution and suppression (ERO) operations in fiscal year 2021 – the lowest level in more than a decade and about half of annual totals for the Trump administration.
“This decrease in enforcement is unacceptable and demonstrates that the Biden administration does not intend to use the resources allocated by Congress to fully enforce the law,” write Comer and Biggs.
Republican lawmakers note that the ICE must now conduct additional investigative work to judge various factors to determine whether the illegal immigrant can actually be deported.
The drop in internal controls came as the number of migrants arriving at the border increased, with more than 1.7 million encounters during fiscal year 2021 at the southern border. Republicans have accused the Biden administration of adopting policies – including this one – that encourage migrants to come en masse to the border because they believe they will be less likely to be deported.
“Your direction to ICE not to enforce immigration law, except in very limited circumstances and after spending substantial resources investigating superfluous information, will only serve as an additional pull factor that will lead to even more illegal immigration to the United States, âthey say.
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They request a range of information from DHS, including who was consulted during the development of the guidelines, any training manuals related to the guidance and any analysis of the potential effects of the guidance. DHS generally responds to Congressional correspondence through its official channels.
Earlier this month, Mayorkas announced even more ICE restrictions, banning raids on construction sites that had become more frequent under the Trump administration.